Journey far and wide with Hungerford’s Literary Festival
Friday, 13 October to Sunday, 15 October 2017
This year’s Hungerford Literary Festival, which runs from 13 to 15 October, is inspired by the theme of Journeys.
Emma Milne-White who curates the festival and owns The Hungerford Bookshop says: “It’s been great fun developing the theme of ‘Journeys’. At a time when our world seems in such a state of flux it seemed an appropriate choice – and books, as we know, are a great way to discover other lives and experiences and help us understand the world in which we live.”
Martin Bell OBE, one of the outstanding reporters of our time, will open the festival with his latest book War and the Death of News, which draws upon his years as a soldier and journalist, as well as his experiences as an MP and a UNICEF ambassador. We look forward to a compelling talk, as Martin shares his personal account of war, and issues an impassioned plea to put the substance back into our news.
Tom Fort takes us to more tranquil territory on Saturday morning. The travel writer and historian hopped on his bike to discover the essence of village life for The Village News: The Truth Behind England’s Rural Idyll. His journeys span more than six thousand years and, interspersed with historical analysis, we discover Tom’s personal memories of village life.
Children’s writer Debi Evans will be at the bookshop signing copies of Jewel Dog and the Dragons, with her dog that inspired her time-travelling series featuring the loveable Jack Russell, Rolo. Where will his new set of adventures take him?
Also joining the literary festival, will be Sunday Times writer Jonathan Dean as he traces his remarkable family history in I Must Belong Somewhere, which draws parallels between the thirties and present-day refugee crisis. Meanwhile crime novelist and railway historian, Andrew Martin, relives the golden age of sleeper trains by using modern-day equivalents (becoming embroiled in his very own ‘whodunit’ on the way).
In the main event on Saturday evening, Alastair Sawday, founder of the hugely successful Sawdays Guides, will talk about his travel experiences and encounters with remarkable, and often eccentric, guests and hotel owners as depicted in his hugely enjoyable memoir Travelling Light. Ticket-holders will be able to book supper beforehand, cooked by The Wheatsheaf in Chilton Foliat, recent winners of Sawdays Local, Seasonal & Organic Produce Award 2017.
The adventure continues on Sunday with a children’s writing workshop led by local writers Nicola Chester and Deborah Patterson. Attending children will be encouraged to hunt down interesting titles in the library to create ‘book spine poetry’ before writing their own adventure story.
Simon Fenwick will be shedding light on Joan Leigh Fermor; an extraordinary woman who travelled widely and lived life at full tilt, no matter what the consequences and, Nick Hunt, who followed in Joan’s famous husband Patrick Leigh Fermor’s footsteps, will return to Hungerford to talk about Where the Wild Winds Are. This book explores Europe’s local winds to discover how they affect landscapes, cultures and people. After his talk, Nick will announce the winner of the adult travel writing competition.
The final stage of the journey features maverick climber Jules Mountain – a cancer survivor who conquered an Everest avalanche. Wanting to prove to himself that his illness was no barrier, the author decided to climb the mountain on what turned out to be the deadliest day in Everest’s history. His inspirational story of survival, resourcefulness and dedication, Aftershock, rounds off the weekend’s journey through time, people and places.
For your passport to these events head to www.ArtsForHungerford.Com to purchase tickets (£7-£8each), or buy them from The Hungerford Bookshop (01488 683480).
The Hungerford Literary Festival owes great thanks to its lead sponsor, Dick Lovett BMW & Mini. It also thanks all other supporters including David Wilson Homes, Bruce MacFarlane, Greenham Trust, Chilton Estate, Hungerford Town & Manor, and Hungerford Town Council.